Responding to Congresswoman Ilhan Omar’s latest anti-Semitic insinuations, Erick Erickson recalls his childhood experience in the emirate of Dubai, at the time “the freest of any part of the Middle East for Westerners.”
I went to the Jumeriah American School. . . . I had fantastic teachers and a wonderful education. But that education went only so far. Our geography textbooks were missing a country. Open to the world map, and there’d be black sharpie marker covering over the word “Israel,” which was sometimes hidden under the word “Palestine” glued into the book. The Israeli flag was redacted by censors. Encyclopedias, almanacs, history books, etc. had passages about Israel taken out. Sometimes the pages were redacted. Sometimes the pages were just torn out. . . .
I went to school with kids from China, Sweden, Canada, Sri Lanka, Lebanon, and elsewhere, but there were no Jewish kids in school. I learned about the Holocaust in high school back in the United States. That was not a topic we studied in Dubai. . . . There are a lot of Americans who do not think anti-Semitism is a big problem. They have not lived in a part of the world that blots Israel off the map. . . .
Many of us stand with Israel because Israel is a democracy among autocracies and a positive influence surrounded by a breeding ground of terrorists. Many of us stand with Israel because we understand both history and those who would bastardize it yet again to persecute Jews. All of us should be troubled by members of Congress cheering on anti-Semitism and others excusing it. We should all be troubled by white nationalists echoing them. This country has a growing problem with anti-Semitism and we need to confront it and denounce it.
History shows time and time again that the enemies of the Jewish people ultimately wind up being enemies of freedom.